By Kate Ranta on Mar 26, 2014 @ 09:00 AM
Anyone who wears contact lenses knows how irritable they can be. They dry out your eyes, rip, become dirty, get stuck under your eyelids…and many more annoyances. It doesn’t help that these problems always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times, too, like when you don’t have a mirror or eye drops. It’s no wonder LASIK eye surgery is so tempting.
Here are some of the advantages that LASIK offers.
Better for eye health
When dirt, fumes or bacteria get into your eyes, you will typically shed some tears. This washes harmful substances from your eyes. However, if you are wearing contact lenses, these particles can become trapped under your contact lenses and do not wash away with your tears. If you don’t take out your contacts immediately, your eyes can become scratched from dirt. Even worse, you can more easily develop eye infections such as pink eye.
Additionally, contacts prevent your eyes from getting enough oxygen. If you don’t take your contacts out regularly, your eyes will become dry and red from an increase in blood vessel growth. This can cause damage or infection to your cornea.
LASIK surgery can be better for your eye health. Your natural defenses, such as your tears, can do their job against harmful substances. You eyes also get the oxygen they need.
Drive safer at night
Contact wearers will often see halos around lights while driving at night. This means that every street lamp, every brake light, and even each of those reflective orange construction cones, can have a little halo surrounding them. This can be disorienting for some drivers and can even cause headaches, making driving at night dangerous. The affects are worsened in poor weather conditions such as rain or snow.
Generally, contact wearers can avoid these dizzying halos by keeping their contacts clean and changing them out frequently. However, even with brand new contact lenses, many contact wearers still experience this halo effect. Corrective vision through LASIK surgery gets rid of the halos. Your sight for night time driving is clearer, enabling you to drive more safely.
Depending on where you live in the United States—and your vision plan—the cost of LASIK varies from less than $1,000 to over $4,000 per eye. This is more than just a chunk of change and can seem overwhelming.
But before you decide that LASIK surgery is too expensive for you, do the math. Figure out how much you spend a year on your eye care. If you wear contacts, this would include 12 months’ worth of contact lenses, all the products you need for their care throughout the year and the annual eye exam that determines your contact prescription. (Note that this exam is different than a general eye health exam. Even if you decide to have LASIK surgery, you should plan to make an appointment at least once a year for your general eye health exam).
No, you probably won’t spend more on contact lenses in ONE year than what you would spend on LASIK. However, LASIK surgery is a one-time purchase. So in the long run, you may find that LASIK will save you money as opposed to buying contact lenses for the next 20-40 years. Also, be sure to check with your insurance provider. Some insurances help pay for the cost of the surgery, making the surgery even more cost effective.
LASIK surgery has a 98 percent success rate and enables you to never have to wear contacts again. Do your research, run your numbers, talk with your eye doctor and see if LASIK is right for you!
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